ESA Venus Express Status Report No. 76 - Mission Operations Report

Status Report From: ESA Venus Express Mission
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2007

image 07 May 2007 16:44 Report for Period 22 April to 28 April 2007

During the reporting period the mission operations have been conducted according to the plan and science operations have been nominal.

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities in the reporting period:

MET (Day) Date DOY VPER# Main Activity
530 22/04/07 112 366 Routine Mission Operations
531 23/04/07 113 367 Routine Mission Operations
532 24/04/07 114 368 Routine Mission Operations
533 25/04/07 115 369 Routine Mission Operations
534 26/04/07 116 370 Routine Mission Operations
535 27/04/07 117 371 Routine Mission Operations
536 28/04/07 118 372 Routine Mission Operations. Start recovery of lost TM caused by bad weather at Cebreros

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 118, 18:00z) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 154 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 515 seconds.

Science Update

The following data set has been released since the previous status report.

7 May 2007
VIRTIS - Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer

Date: 7-11 April 2007
Details: These two sequences are composed of VIRTIS data of Venus's south polar region, gathered during five orbits between 7 and 11 April 2007. Using two infrared wavelenths (3.8 μm shown in red and 1.7 μm in blue) the observations allowed imaging of both the day and night side simultaneously, at different depths in the atmosphere. The sequence on the right is the same as the one on the left, but was edge-enhanced to reveal structure details.

Payload Activities

The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

This instrument is OFF and is not operated.

The instrument is operated as part of the routine plan.

Observations were planned for DoY 116 and 118. Due to an S-Band problem observed during the observation on DoY 116, the observation on DoY 118 was cancelled. Future observations will be carried out with X-band only until further notice.

The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

Telemetry, Tracking & Command

During the VERA observation on DoY 116, the S-Band downlink was observed by the New Norcia ground station to be much weaker (about 14dB) than expected, thus confirming earlier measurements by DSN in March. The anomaly is under investigation and a series of possible tests to isolate the cause is under discussion.

Ground Facilities

A short loss of telemetry (TM) occurred on 28 April, for the two intervals 15:33 - 15:39 and 15:51 - 15:54, due to a heavy rainstorm at the Cebreros site. Missing science data resulting from these frame losses were recovered completely in subsequent passes.

Future Milestones

The next quadrature phase will start in May 2007. The quadrature readiness review has been completed on 26 April 2007.

// end //

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